DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., is Irvine, Calif., native Colt Brennan's preferred destination as Hawaii awaits its bowl berth.
Colt’s wish is to spend New Year’s with USC
Hawaii may be going to the Sugar Bowl to face Georgia, but senior quarterback Colt Brennan's preference would be to play Southern California in the Rose Bowl.
"I began my career against USC and I'd love to end it against them," Brennan said, moments after Hawaii secured a 35-28 victory over Washington last night at Aloha Stadium. "I've got nothing but respect for SC. I'm a big fan of their program. I sure want to play them.
"We want to stay on the West Coast. I know Hawaii fans would fill that place. Of course, we'll go anywhere they send us. This team has persevered so much this season that I can't even put into words exactly how I feel. We never doubted we could come back."
The BCS bids will be announced this afternoon. Hawaii will hold a BCS party at the Stan Sheriff Center when the live announcement is made on Fox (KHON). Admission will be free. Brennan said the fans were a key to Hawaii rallying to beat the Pac-10 Huskies (4-9).
"We knew they were going to come in here and play us tough," Brennan said. "They had nothing to lose, so you knew they were going to leave it out there on the field. It's a great feeling. This is why I came back for my senior season, to be with the guys and accomplish something like this."
Brennan completed 42 of 50 passes for 442 yards and five touchdowns. He didn't throw an interception, but said Washington played a tough cover 4 defense for most of the game.
"They were in an 88 most of the night, which is a cover 4," Brennan said. "It looks like cover 2, but the corners sink. Then they went to three roll and at the end of the game they went to man free. That's when we just killed them."
After Brennan completed his final touchdown pass to Ryan Grice-Mullins, he skipped across the back of the end zone like a kid playing Pop Warner. Washington made everyone nervous at the end, but Brennan never doubted Hawaii would win.
"We're going to the BCS, can you believe it?" Brennan said. "It's so exciting how we finished these last four games. I knew our season would really begin with Fresno State and end tonight. And that's exactly what happened."
Libre steps up
From Konawaena to Menlo to -- most likely -- the BCS.
Junior running back Daniel Libre had the biggest night of his young career with 82 rushing yards and six receptions for 61 yards to help power the Warrior comeback.
"It's been a crazy long road and I'm just happy I could do it with these guys," Libre said amid the on-field celebration.
Libre sparked the Warriors with his quickness early, but lost a fumble late in the first quarter to end a disastrous period.
He put the miscue behind him to rush for 51 yards in the second quarter, 44 coming on a run that jump-started UH's final scoring drive of the first half that drew the Warriors to within a touchdown at 28-21.
He also had a 7-yard run on UH's final drive to help set up the winning score.
"I can't even put it into words," Libre said. "My team needed me and I'm happy I could step up."
Washington freshman quarterback Jake Locker
wound up 14 yards short of the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
He finished with 76 yards on the ground last night for his final season total of 986.
Locker was trying to join Huskies running back Louis Rankin as the first tandem in Huskies history to achieve the feat in the same season.
Rankin rushed for 145 yards last night to finish the season with 1,294.
"A lot of growth took place (for Locker this season)," Washington coach Ty Willingham said after the game. "He has shown the ability to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
"And Louis has been criticized, but he's proving the critics wrong. He ran hard and makes plays that only a few backs can make. I'm proud of the year he had."
Sacks for local boys
Huskies defensive linemen Daniel Te'o-Nesheim
and Wilson Afoa
turned in solid performances last night.
Te'o-Nesheim, a Hawaii Prep alumnus, had five solo stops, including a sack, while Afoa, a Saint Louis graduate, had two solo stops with a sack.
Sacramento Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof
donated $50,000 to Na Koa and the June Jones
Foundation at halftime.